Environmental Law Foundation

Our Staff

James Wheaton

President of the Board of Directors and Legal Director

James Wheaton is President of the Board of Directors and Legal Director of the Environmental Law Foundation, in Oakland, and Senior Counsel for the First Amendment Project. He teaches Journalism Law at the Graduate Schools of Journalism at both Stanford and UC Berkeley.

He has been honored for his work with awards by California Lawyer as Attorney of the Year, Playboy Foundation, Society of Professional Journalists Northern California Chapter, and the Ecology Law Quarterly.

His political work includes writing and running or chairing campaigns for statewide initiatives in the last 25 years on topics such as insurance regulation, campaign finance and political reform, marijuana legalization, old growth forestry, consumer privacy, and litigation reform.

As a volunteer he is an Advisor to the California State Bar's Environment Section Executive Committee and chaired its Yosemite Environmental Institute. He is a Trustee of River Network, and past-President of Friends of the River. He has served as a City of Oakland Public Ethics Commissioner, as Executive Director of California Common Cause, and as chair of the Society of Professional Journalists (NorCal) FOI Committee.

He is a graduate of Brown University and Berkeley Law School. He is a white water rafter and kayaker, trains whitewater guides, skippers a sailboat on San Francisco Bay, canoes and has recently retired from 7 years of coaching Little League baseball, and still umpires. He has been noted for his work in the San Francisco Bay Guardian, California Lawyer, Playboy, Outside and Rolling Stone magazines.


Nicole Feliciano

Operations Director/Legal Administrator

Nicole Feliciano graduated from the University of California Berkeley with a Bachelor's Degree in Sociology in 2005.  Her quest for a socially rewarding way to earn a living led her to ELF.  After working for a private law firm for several years, Nicole is proud to support an organization committed to Environmental and Social Justice.